Our last day, Friday, had arrived already. The morning temperature had dropped slightly and there was a welcome breeze in the air, so everyone decided to do the final walk. At 9 am we all piled into the private bus and our talkative driver and temporary tour guide drove us to Muker, where we started our six-mile walk.
This really classic Dales village was a great starting point along the low-level part of the Coast-to-Coast path. After smearing ourselves with suntan lotion, checking our blood-glucose levels and taking on some water, we set off.
Elizabeth led us through fields of deep grass and across meadows with grazing sheep and cows, up hill, down dale, through woodland and thicket and across farmland where we were shown the right paths by some friendly farmer’s wives and greeted by some curious lambs and protective sheep-dogs.
We walked close to the Swale all the way into Reeth, where we had started our walk on Wednesday. The sun had come out again with a vengeance, so we dived into the first café and had a lovely pot of tea and a bowl of home-made coffee and vanilla ice cream.
We then meandered around the village and the random collection of shops. The bus and our chatty driver arrived on time and off we went back to Richmond to freshen up, pack our bags and meet for our last dinner together.
Our final meal was as wonderful as all the others that week, so we called the chefs out for a round of applause and to thank them for all their efforts. Every night that week a name was drawn from the hat and a prize was given out. Tonight it was a book about diabetes that was given to the lucky recipient.
A special thank you and gift was given to our leader Elizabeth for the great walks she had planned and for being flexible enough to change things at a moment’s notice to adapt to the great British unpredictable weather. A gift and applause of appreciation was also given to Angela for looking after our health and wellbeing so much during the week. We couldn’t have our walking weeks without her.
After dinner we went down to the nook for tea and coffee, where we huddled together speculating about the King’s Head’s resident spooks and whose room they might haunt. This led on to an assortment of personal ghost stories into the late hours. When we had scared each other enough, we headed back to our rooms laughing nervously. It was a perfect end to a perfect week.
The next morning we rose early for breakfast, said our goodbyes and headed off home in our respective directions, promising to see each other again the following year and chattering excitedly about where the next “Active with Diabetes” Walking Holiday would be.